Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Dramatization in One Act


THIS PLAY IS RATED RPM for Really Painful Memories

The Setting: A white Cape house in Suburban America and Route 95 North

Narrator: A woman was once married to a man who was trained as a Special Ops Commando: Rage and Control Division. He specialized in interrogation techniques, machine gunnery and flame throwing. She didn't know this when she said her vows.

Scene I: The Living Room

The woman is folding laundry, say, or leafing through a magazine or maybe writing out the dreaded grocery list. He'd strike up a conversation which would lull her into thinking that's what they were doing, you know, just having a conversation, when suddenly he'd, like, slip her a mickey or something and she'd be dragged off to the Mind-Fuck Garage where she'd be strapped to a chair and the questions would start and they were questions with such odd angles, questions with such dark and manipulative undertones, questions formed in such a way that no matter how she answered them, she'd be wrong. For a long time she believed he was really trying to get to the truth, when all along he was just trying to intimidate and hurt and weaken her, which made him feel strong.

Scene II: The Kitchen

His skills with an AK47 were legendary. Oh, but he was good. Oh, the chaos and the crying that would ensue, the woman and children lying bloodied on the cool tile floor, limbs torn and clothing shredded and fires in the windows and no way to escape and all the woman could do was shield as many small bodies as possible with her warm and bloodied one and hope it would all end soon.

Scene III: Driving him to work in their One Car

In the end, when there was only scar tissue on her body, when she was bullet-ridden and skin-hardened from too many body blows and internal bleeding left her pale and limp and the ridges on her back were layered on her skin from too many whacks with a machete, and the thin little scars from his slick sharp scalpel cuts were silver and shiny, when her body was tough and hard and impervious to his efforts to hurt anymore, he would unstrap his flamethrower. He'd unstrap it from his back -- she could here the sound of it being unbuckled, the slick whickery sound as he pulled it to the front of his body -- and all she could think to do was run, or fall in a heap on the floor in defeat.

Once, on the car ride to work -- they had only one car for a long time, she can't remember why -- she told him she wanted to join the gym. This was not, apparently, good news. This was proof of how selfish the woman was, how she thought only of herself and no one else, how she spent money indiscriminately (a bold-faced lie but he said it anyway) and she heard the sound of him unstrapping the flamethrower and she was afraid. She was stuck in the car with him driving too fast down the highway with a three year old in the back watching everything, and he flicked the switch and let loose a long stream of burning fire -- oh, she was so so so selfish selfish selfish and the flames poured over her and she sat stunned and burned and he screamed and ranted. And as her skin charred and blackened and the burning tears came, the only thing she could think to do was throw her hot coffee at him, which she did, and it put the flamethower out, just for that moment.

June 23, 2009

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